Anshe Chesed

Vicksburg's Jewish Cemetery

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When the call to arms was made in 1861, men from all walks of life answered, including a number from the Jewish community. They served the Confederate States with honor, and once the conflict was over, those who survived took their places as leaders of the community.

The first local citizen wounded in the Vicksburg campaign was Philip Sartorius, and the last local veteran of the Lost Cause was Louis Hornthal, who died in 1939; both are buried in Anshe Chesed Cemetery along with at several other Confederate veterans, including Jacob Gusdofer, Morris Gusdofer and A. B. Kuhn, of General Wirt Adams' Cavalry; Emanuel Teller of the 18th North Carolina Infantry; and Leon Fischel of the 15th Battalion of Louisiana Cavalry, of which group Sartorius was also a member; and Louis Hornthal of the Sartartia Rifles, which became Company 1 of the 12th Mississippi.

CSA veterans buried at Anshe Chesed also include David Beer of the 7th Miss. Inf and Herman Nauen of the 13th La Inf.

Pvt. Raphael Dreyfus (see photo at right), 27th Louisiana Infantry, Co. G, is the only soldier with a military stone, which was not erected until 1998. Dreyfus, whose name was spelled Draifouse in the Louisiana records, was buried in the old Jewish cemetery in 1862 and moved to the new one in 1865.

The first rabbi to be interred here, Bernard H. Gotthelf, wore the blue during the War Between the States. In death all were at peace, all were brothers.

Pvt R Draifouse
Co G
27 La Inf
Aug 25 1862
Aged 22 Years

For his military record, see


Photo by Bryan Skipworth

Text from the historic marker above -- This site is the second Jewish cemetery in Vicksburg. The exact location of the first cemetery has not been determined. The first burial here was that of Meyer Meyer on May 16, 1865. Four rabbis who served this congregation have their final resting place in this cemetery.

Rabbi Bernhard H. Gotthelf, born February 5, 1819, was a Union chaplain who served as the first rabbi in Vicksburg. He died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1878.

Rabbi Herman M. Bien (1835 - 1895) was born in Hesse Cassel, Germany.

Rabbi Sol L. Kory (1879 - 1936) linked the local Orthodox and Reform congregations.

Rabbi Adolf Philipps born (1836 - 1987) escaped the Nazi Holocaust.

Photo by Bryan Skipworth
Anshe Chesed Congregation -- Meaning "men of kindness, " the Anshe Chesed Congregation was organized in 1841 and formally chartered by the State of Mississippi in 1862. It was a founding member of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1874. Anshe Chesed is the second oldest Reform Jewish congregation in Mississippi.
Text and photo are courtesy of Charles Riles, from his book Anshe Chesed: Vicksburg's Jewish Cemetery.
Hat tip to Wayne McMaster. Research and photography by Bryan Skipworth.

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